SEAN Dyche says he would have traded his first manager of the month nomination with Burnley for better results in their last three games.
The Clarets boss was recognised for a return of three straight league wins in January, all including clean sheets – which also led to a place on the player of the month shortlist for captain Jason Shackell also.
Dyche and the defender missed out on the awards, with Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson scooping the manager’s prize after his side dropped only two points in January.
Watford striker Matej Vydra came out on top of the player poll for his run of six goals from three games.
Burnley’s struggle to replicate their early new year form into February – with only one point from their two games in the month, despite taking the lead both times – has led to the Clarets slipping down the Championship table ahead of a blank weekend.
But Dyche is confident there are good things in place at Turf Moor to enable his players to claw their way back towards the top six.
“I think they’re getting more and more used to what we’re trying to do any buying into the changes; there are more changes going on at the training ground and more things that we’re looking to put in place,” said the Clarets boss.
“The flexibility and adaptability are important for the group.”
Of his manager of the month nomination, Dyche said: “I prefer to not be up for it and have won the last three games instead, but c’est la vie.
“It’s a nice thought and a nice idea and a show of respect that things are going well here.
“But I would prefer to be the manager of the year because that normally means something pretty special has happened with your players and your club – because the players and the club come first.”
Of Shackell making the shortlist in the player category, the Burnley boss added: “With three clean sheets in four games they look at the back four and goalies, but it’s a team aspect both scoring and the will to not concede.
“The same goes for me – it’s the players that do it. Managers are renowned for saying ‘the players let me down’ if things don’t go well, but they get applauded when they do do well, so I’m more than happy with that.
“They’ve done really well so far, we just need to turn the heat up again and force the issue when needed and play well enough to get even more points on the board and more wins.”
Burnley will have to wait until Tuesday’s visit of Middlesbrough to make amends for dropping crucial points in recent games – notably from winning positions against Peterborough and Bolton.
A free weekend means the Clarets have additional time to work on their tactics and methods for the midweek fixture, as well as being on hand to take in games involving upcoming opponents and possible transfer targets.
The break has also allowed Dyche some time for reflection on his three and a half month spell in charge – looking back on what they’ve done so far, and ahead to what they can do.
“You want to keep the flow of playing games, but on the other hand if gives you a couple of days prep because on a usual Thursday you’re prepping for the Saturday game, whereas now we can do the work without worrying about the fatigue element,” he said.
“It’s the ying and yang. There are a lot of games coming after that, including the re-arranged Huddersfield game which looks like it will be the end of February depending on their result (tomorrow).
“It gives us that time now to put some good things in and keep an eye on the knocks and injuries.
“Vokesy (Sam Vokes) has a sore foot, but that’s settling down.”
Dyche added that he was always taking stock of the Clarets squad and admitted he was pleased with what he was seeing.
“We’re always looking to see where we’re really at and we’ve mostly delivered – especially recently,” he said.
“Obviously two out of the last three haven’t gone our way – one’s a decision that cost you. Last week was the only real disappointing one where the lead crept away from us.
“But the players are generally delivering.”